ROSE PROBE (CONT.)
As the Pete Rose watch entered its fourth week, attention focused increasingly on his dealings with his former friend and chief accuser, Paul Janszen. Investigators from the office of baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti were trying to answer a crucial question: Did Janszen bet on baseball strictly on his own or did he also do so—as he has claimed—on Rose's behalf?
To be sure, there were other deepening shadows over Rose last week, including newspaper reports that he's the target of an Internal Revenue Service investigation involving income derived from memorabilia sales and gambling. Two more of Rose's former associates ran afoul of the law. Ron Peters, the Franklin, Ohio, restaurateur whose lawyer described him to SI as Rose's "principal bookmaker," agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of tax evasion and cocaine trafficking, and Tommy Gioiosa, a bodybuilder who once lived with Rose, was indicted on charges of tax evasion and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Even if Rose is found to have had no involvement in baseball betting, his dubious associations, indications that he wagered heavily on sports other than baseball through illegal bookmakers and the possibility that he evaded income taxes could prod Giamatti into taking disciplinary action against him.
But the commissioner's mandate is clearest on the issue of baseball wagering. If Rose bet on baseball, Giamatti would suspend him for a year. If he bet on games involving the Cincinnati Reds, the team he manages, the suspension would be for life. Janszen, a bodybuilder who is serving a six-month prison sentence for tax evasion, offers damning testimony in this area. According to a federal court affidavit obtained last week by SI and other publications, a source identified only as S-1, but known through other federal documents to be Janszen, told government investigators that in 1987 he placed bets totaling $8,000 to $16,000 a day on games for a person identified as G-1. Sources have told SI and other publications that G-1 is Rose.
The affidavit, filed by IRS agents last August in connection with their investigation of Peters, doesn't say whether the games bet on were baseball games, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that they were. A source close to the investigation told SI that the bets mentioned in the affidavit indeed included baseball wagers. The Plain Dealer later reported that Janszen told baseball investigators that Rose bet on Reds games. An associate of Janszen's told SI that Janszen made the same claim to him.
Has Janszen been telling the truth? Rose denies betting on baseball—or indeed engaging in any illicit gambling—and it would be hard to accept the word of a felon over that of one of baseball's greatest heroes, even one as tainted as Rose. On the other hand, a federal investigator involved in the case told SI's Martin F. Dardis that Janszen's credibility "in my opinion is a 10 on a scale of one to 10."
Peters's lawyer, Alan Statman, has intimated that his client can corroborate Janszen's claim that Rose bet on baseball. A source friendly to Peters and Janszen told SI's Jill Lieber that both men told him they had tape recordings indicating that Rose bet on baseball—and on the Reds. The aforementioned federal affidavit states that a government informant referred to as S-3—and identified by SI sources as Peters's former wife, Lori—gave the government gambling tally sheets and a tape of Peters accepting bets from unidentified individuals. But it isn't known whether baseball has been provided with tapes or other materials incriminating Rose in baseball betting.
Although Janszen has given the impression that he was betting on baseball for Rose—a weightlifter at Gold's Gym in suburban Cincinnati told SI he heard Janszen using a phone at the gym to place baseball bets the weight-lifter understood were being made on Rose's behalf—baseball investigators have to consider the possibility that Janszen is merely dropping Rose's name, either to impress people or because he has a grudge against Rose. A source close to Rose and Janszen told SI that Janszen claimed Rose owed him money for a gambling debt. The source accused Janszen of blackmailing Rose.
Rose has offered differing versions of his relationship with Janszen. In interviews with SI he has variously said that he didn't associate with Janszen "other than at Gold's Gym," that Janszen "makes sure lines are straight at [baseball] card shows for me," and that the two were close enough that "he lived with me a couple of springs ago for six weeks in Tampa." The last statement refers to a period in 1987 when Janszen and his fianc�e, Danita Marcum, were Pete and Carol Rose's houseguests at spring training. During the '87 season Janszen sometimes accompanied the Reds on the road and stayed at the team hotel, and he and Marcum were familiar figures at Riverfront Stadium, where he hung out in the clubhouse. At games, Janszen and Marcum sat behind home plate with Carol and the Roses' son Tyler.
Janszen also spent a lot of time at the Roses' house in Cincinnati, according to friends of Rose's. Janszen would join Rose in the living room to watch sports events on TV and was constantly on the phone getting updates on scores. "Pete always sat on the left side of the couch," one of the friends says. "Paul sat across from him. Always."